Olean, New York

Olean is a town in Cattaraugus County, New York. The name is derived from the Latin word "oleum" due to the discovery of crude oil in nearby Ischua.

The Town of Olean is in the southeast corner of the county. The City of Olean, originally the Village of Olean, is adjacent to the town.

Olean was first settled around 1805. The Town of Olean was established in 1808 as the only town in the county. The "Town of Ischua," (now Franklinville) was established in 1812, part of Perrysburg was removed in 1814, Great Valley was formed in 1818, Hinsdale in 1820, and Portville, in 1837.

The Village of Olean, was originally named "Hamilton," after Alexander Hamilton, but was called Olean Point until simplified to Olean in 1823.

The name "Olean" was suggested for the area due to the oil found in the vicinity. The famed Seneca Oil Spring, discovered by the Franciscan Missionary Joseph De La Roche D'Allion in 1627 was located about 14 miles upstream of Olean Point. The original town hall burned in 1884, prompting a law that forbade wooden structures in parts of the town.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.7 square miles, of which, 29.6 square miles of it is land and 0.1 square miles  of it (0.27%) is water

The City of Olean is a city within the Town of Olean in Cattaraugus County, New York. Olean is the largest city in Cattaraugus County, and serves as the financial, business and transportation center of the county. It is one of the principal cities of the Southern Tier region of New York.

The city is surrounded by the Town of Olean and is located in the southeastern part of the county.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.2 square miles, of which, 5.9 square miles of it is land and 0.2 square miles of it (3.73%) is water.

The city is located where Olean Creek flows into the Allegheny River and by the Southern Tier Expressway (Interstate 86 and New York State Route 17). New York State Route 417 passes east-west through the city and intersects New York State Route 16, a north-south highway.

Interesting facts:

  • Home to famous Rock City Park
  • The Olean Business Institute and a branch of Jamestown Community College are within the city
  • St. Bonaventure University is a few miles to the west in the Town of Allegany.
  • CUTCO national headquarters is based in Olean.
  • Dresser-Rand Group, Inc. North American headquarters was based in Olean.
  • Colonial Radio Group, which owns radio stations in the region and previously owned stations in the Carolinas, has been headquartered in Olean since 2009.
  • Part of the movie "Unstoppable" was filmed near a rail yard in Olean.

Upcoming Events

Celebration of the Arts Gala with the Arts Council
Sat, 04/14/2018 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm

In keeping with this, our 20th anniversary year, our annual fundraiser at the Bartlett Country Club will be a 1920s themed cocktail party and you are invited to dress in your best Gatsby, flapper, or Bonnie & Clyde style.

Rehab Center's Seafood Fest
Fri, 04/20/2018 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm

The Rehabilitation Foundation’s 15th Annual Seafood Fest promises another exciting night on the high seas to benefit the important work of the Rehab Center!  Gourmet food, wine and auctions! This one of a kind dining and auction event is back, planned for April 20th, 2018 at The Old Library Events Center

Olean Community Theatre's The Curious Incident of the Dog...
Thu, 04/26/2018 - 7:30pm - Sun, 04/29/2018 - 2:00pm

Olean Community Theatre presents "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"!  The story concerns a mystery surrounding the death of a neighbor's dog that is investigated by young Christopher Boone, who has an autism spectrum condition.

Places

Good Times of Olean

Good Times of Olean is home to a 16 lane bowling center that holds the latest in Qubica AMF equipment. Friday and Saturday nights have open bowling, and leagues are held during week day evenings.

They have fully restored the 18 hole miniature golf course found at Forness Park. Sign up for one of their adult putt-putt leagues today!

Photo of Twist and Shake

This seasonal roadside stand is one of THE BEST places to stop for an ice cream cone in the area.  Try their teriffic wraps, char-grilled burgers and hot dogs.  Make it a meal with their huge munchies menu.

Photo of Sparky's Pizza and Subs

Great food and reasonable prices.  Sparky's offers the basics, hamburgers, chicken wings, pizza and subs, but they also offer Texas hots, Friday fish fry, wraps and a gluten free pizza.

Hours:

Sunday - Thursday
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Friday - Saturday
11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Videos

  • Rock City Park has the largest outcropping of quartz conglomerate in the world! What a rockin' place!As you can see from this video, Rock City Park has beautiful fall colors and offers visitors a great short hiking experience.
  • Tasty tasty Beef on Weck at Beef 'n Barrel Restaurant in Olean, NY.

Travel Guide

Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County Travel Guide for 2017It's a full 56-page comprehensive guide, highlighting the activities and attractions in our County and it's FREE!!

View the visitor's guide online

or

request that the Enchanted Mountains guide

be snail mailed to you for FREE!

NYAGT Geocaching Trails

Top 10 site for Steelhead Fishing

Cattaraugus Creek has been listed in the top 10 sites for Steelhead Fishing (rainbow trout fishing) by 2 outdoor magazines. Steelhead Trout AKA Rainbow trout are very similar to Salmon in both taste and habits. Unlike other areas of the United States, our native Rainbow trout (Steelhead Trout) spend a majority of time in Lake Erie a freshwater lake and spawn in the Cattaraugus Creek and other tributaries.

The following is from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation's article "Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries"

Lake Erie's tributary streams, both big and small, receive an annual run of migratory rainbow trout called "steelhead." From October through April, thousands of steelhead ascend New York's Lake Erie tributaries on their mission to spawn. Excellent fishing opportunities await any angler who wishes to try their hand at steelhead fishing. Between the acrobatic leaps, long drag-screaming runs and rod quaking head shakes, the fight of an early run steelhead is a truly exhilarating experience.

Read more about Steelhead/Rainbow fishing on the Cattaraugus Creek

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